mPossible! Health Workers Can Get Training Anytime, Anywhere with Interactive Voice Response

This post originally appeared on the K4Health blog.

Advances in mobile health—or mHealth—have expanded the realm of possibility for remote education, diagnostic and treatment support, communication and training, disease tracking, monitoring, and data collection. Every day, mHealth grows to include more sophisticated applications for high-tech smartphones and tablets. But what about health workers—specifically those in rural areas who don’t have access to the latest technology?

To learn more about mLearning (or mobile learning) for health workers, IntraHealth International, through the CapacityPlus project, piloted an innovative program to provide refresher training to family planning service providers in Senegal using interactive voice response (IVR) technologies on basic mobile phones. Read more »

Picturing Our Work: Harnessing mLearning for Training Health Workers

Devika ChawlaIn this age of rapidly emerging technologies, how can we improve the way we provide training to health workers?

This is the question CapacityPlus is trying to answer with our mLearning work in Senegal. Using feedback from previous eLearning projects—such as problems with Internet connectivity and computer access—the project started looking into mLearning options that use audio to deliver training through the most basic mobile phones. But there was no suitable option.

So CapacityPlus developed its own interactive voice response (IVR) mLearning platform that delivers training to health workers on their mobile phones, meaning that health workers can remain at their posts and continue providing care in their communities. Read more »

Picturing Our Work: Protecting Health Workers

“To the doctors and pharmacists who died, victims of their devoutness during the epidemic of 1878, Gorée.”

In this photo from Ile de Gorée, an island off the coast of Dakar, Senegal, Carie Cox reminds us how health workers often sacrifice their own health or safety in order to care for their patients. In many countries, they may not have essential supplies to protect themselves or face occupational hazards or other safety concerns. Instead of contracting yellow fever in 1878, as the statue references, they may be exposed to HIV and risk infection because they have no postexposure prophylaxis. They may contract a serious illness because they don’t have access to clean running water to wash their hands. They may travel dangerous roads at night on the way to or from the health facility. They may be targets for attack during armed conflict. Read more »

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